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This Day in Music History: The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan is released, Red Hot Chili Peppers get their first #1 album 22 years into their career

The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan

1957 – Buddy Holly and the Crickets release their first record, “That’ll Be The Day,” which goes to #1 in the UK and #3 in the US. The song is inspired by John Wayne’s frequently-used, world-weary catchphrase, “That’ll be the day,” in his movie The Searchers, which Holly, Jerry Allison, and Sonny Curtis had seen in June 1956. It is also the first song to be recorded by The Quarrymen, the skiffle group that subsequently becomes The Beatles.

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Listen to Stars cover The Smiths on WXPN’s Like A Version

Stars on WXPN's Like A Version | Photo by Eric Schuman
Stars on WXPN’s Like A Version | Photo by Eric Schuman

Even the most casual fan of Canadian indie pop torch-bearers Stars has to pick up on the band’s evident reverence for the music of Morrissey and The Smiths. So it’s totally fitting that, when Torquil Campbell and Chris Seligman of the band stopped by Dan Reed’s show on WXPN this Wednesday for the Like A Version segment, they unpacked an acoustic guitar and dusted off a Smiths classic. After the jump, listen to their rendition of “What Difference Does It Make?” from The Smiths’ self-titled 1984 album, and listen to their full conversation with Dan Reed. Continue reading →

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The Bad Doctors release Re-Animate EP, full length coming Spring 2014

Philadelphia synthpop punk trio The Bad Doctors recently put out a four song EP  Re-Animate with FDH Records. Released as a teaser for their forthcoming full-length Burning City, this EP comes on pretty strong.

Most of the songs point to The Smiths as a major influence; listen to the “The Reanimator” for vocals that are almost spot on Morrissey. With the initial electronic shriek, we realize the electronics and synths are going to play as big a role as the guitar, bass, and drums. The opening song might start off like classic pop punk, but it ends in a mess of blipping electronics. “Prism, Mirror, Lens” begins with an keyboard line that quickly is accompanied by a guitar riff, matching it in intensity and speed for the rest of the song.

Some of the lyrics even match the grandiose romanticism of old pop punk, with lines like “When we touch, I hear the oceans collide” that are immediately followed by a breakdown of samples fused with quirky bass and guitar lines. “AC” may be the best track on the album, because if I didn’t know any better I would say they are a long-lost 80’s band after listening to it. The four-minute track engulfs the punk riffs along the synthpop sound almost perfectly, melting together under the morose vocals, creating something that you can simply get lost in. With the lyrics “It’s alright and it’s alright and it’s alright if you run away,” The Bad Doctors create a space for your mind to wander, while keeping you grounded by the thumping rhythm.

The Re-Animate EP has impressive moments that show that electronic music and pop punk can coexist, but the most exciting part is probably that The Bad Doctors have a full length coming out next year.

Pick up the EP on bandcamp or stream it below.